What Causes Pinched Nerves and How to Treat Them
Soreness can be caused by aging or poor posture, but it’s also possible that a pinched nerve is at blame. Compression of muscles, tendons, bones, or cartilage can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakening when surrounding tissues press down on one or more nerves.
A pinched nerve might often be a sign of something else going on in the body. Based on the location of pain and numbness, a herniated disc or carpal tunnel syndrome, for example.
In weeks or months, a combination of rest and physical therapy can usually treat and lessen the adverse symptoms of a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve, if left untreated, can cause more significant injury, contribute to persistent pain, and necessitate surgery for relief.
What Are the Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve?
The nerve or nerve root can be compressed by a variety of tissues. This illness can affect any part of the body, but it is most frequent in the neck and back. Pain, on the other hand, does not always occur where the tissues are compressing the nerve:
- A spinal disc may press against a nerve root, causing discomfort to radiate down the leg.
- The sense of a stiff neck or numbness in the shoulders and arms might be caused by a pinched nerve in the cervical spine.
- The back, hips, and leg can all be affected by a pinched nerve in the lumbar region.
- A pinched thoracic nerve can cause chest pain
A pinched nerve could also be a sign of another problem with the ligaments, muscles, joints, or bones, such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis inflammation
- Bone spurs on the discs of the spine
- Obesity puts strain on specific nerves due to additional weight.
- Body changes caused by pregnancy
- Nerve damage caused by diabetes
Pinched nerves can also occur as a result of:
- A sports injury, especially one caused by poor form, repetitive strain, or the use of worn-out equipment that is no longer supportive.
- A work-related repetitive motion injury caused by typing or using a vibrating tool.
- When an inflammatory tendon compresses the median nerve as it travels down the arm, it is known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
If the compressed nerve or source of inflammation is not addressed, irreversible nerve injury and chronic pain may result. The nerve’s protective barrier begins to deteriorate, or fluid accumulates in the area, increasing pressure and contributing to scarring.
Treatment for Pinched Nerves
To lessen the consequences of a pinched nerve and avoid recurrence, you should do the following:
- Concentrate on your form and posture.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
- Incorporate strength and flexibility training into your workout.
- If you’re doing a repetitive chore, take a break.
- Make an effort to maintain a healthy weight.
- To make a more ergonomic work environment, look for support gadgets.
In addition to these suggestions, your Physical Therapist may advise you to:
- Physical Therapy treatment relieves pressure on the nerve by targeting the muscles in the afflicted area.
- Nerve pain and inflammation can be treated with NSAIDs and other medicines.
- If physical therapy and pain medicines do not work, surgery may be required. This can help to relieve the pressure on the nerve, reducing the amount of discomfort you’re experiencing.
Call or text us at 949.716.5050 to learn more about Physical Therapy options and how they can help treat a pinched nerve.